Posted on July 16, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The International Chamber of Shipping has issued a warning, urging shipping companies sailing through the Middle East to avoid using armed security guards on their transits, as to avoid potentially escalating the already volatile situation.
"The use of force against threats recently encountered in the Gulf of Oman carries significant risk and has the potential to escalate security situations to the detriment of the safety of ship and crew.
“The use of unarmed maritime advisers to assist with onboard security and watch-keeping is sensible," reads the advisory.
Guy Platten, the Secretary-General for the International Chamber of Shipping has gone on record, advising that the use of armed guards in the Gulf is heavily regulated, with many ports disallowing their use altogether.
"The message is do not use private armed guards in these waters – it is not advised," said Mr Platten in his statement to Reuters.
“The legal implications for insurers and vessel owners are widespread. Breaches of rules bring about significant financial penalties, adverse reputational issues and in some cases custodial sentences.
“The navies will be aware that additionally recruited armed security personnel may lead to the possible escalation of violence,” said Jonathan Moss, head of transport and shipping with law firm DWF.
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